Marla Maples is one of those names that's been around forever. For some reason, though, Marla takes a lot of heat for her name. Ivana Trump, for instance, said that "I never heard a name like that in my life." She also gets referred to dismissively as "the blonde" at times. Anyway, Marla just doesn't get a whole lot of respect in certain quarters... but she's still a legend. Why is Marla Maples a legend? Why, for snagging one of the richest and most famous men in the world, who later became President of the United States of America.
Anyway, let's learn a little bit about Marla Maples and why you recognized that name.
Marla Ann Maples (27 October 1963) is from Cohutta, Georgia. She was the Homecoming Queen at Northwest Whitfield High School, then took up acting and modelling. Marla was a starlet in the 1980s, appearing in films such as "Maximum Overdrive" (1986), a Stephen King horror film. She also did a famous ad campaign for No Excuses jeans in 1990. Around this time, she met The Donald.
|Donald Trump and Marla Maples in the 1990s.|
When and how Donald Trump and Marla Maples met is a bit of a mystery. She has said that she was 20 when they met, so that would place it roughly in 1984. However, Trump was a king of the social scene in '80s New York, and Marla would have been moving in the same circles.
Sometimes, it doesn't get any more complicated than that. Marla was in her prime, 26, when the affair burst into the tabloids, and 30 when they married. Marla's dad was a real estate developer like Trump, so they would have had something to talk about there.
|Marla claims that a lot of the notorious quotes that she supposedly said were made up, including this one.|
Anyway, the two had a "thing" going on by the end of the decade. That is when one of the most dramatic events in the social history of Vail, Colorado took place: the dramatic confrontation before the current and the future Mrs. Trump.
There are all sorts of sides to the Argument in Vail. Apparently, The Donald somewhat imprudently decided that it would be a good idea to have Marla Ann chow down at the same time and same place (Bonnie's in Aspen, a buffet place) as his wife, Ivana Trump. It all worked out pretty well until... it didn't.
|And, this apparently is another made-up quote.|
Let's give several sides to this. One of the sides was Ivana's, who was married to Donald Trump. She sat down with Barbara Walters, who must have died and thought she went to heaven that a story like this should fall into her lap. In the 1991 20/20 interview, Ivana was still "Mrs. Trump":
WALTERS: Donald repeatedly said that your marriage broke up because you just “grew apart,” and he, in a sense, outgrew you.
IVANA TRUMP: I really wasn’t aware of growing apart. I wasn’t aware of problems. Every marriage takes a give and take.
WALTERS: And then came Christmas, Aspen, December 30th- can you tell us what happened, what you felt, what you learned? It’s still hard, isn’t it?
IVANA TRUMP: It’s tough.
|Marla on "Dancing With The Stars" during the 2016 Presidential campaign.|
WALTERS: [voice-over] At first, Ivana could not discuss what happened at Aspen Mountain that day, but later, she was able to talk about it. [interviewing] We know what Marla said about that day in Aspen - we have read about it in all of the papers - that she came up to you and said or you met her and she said, “I love Donald. Do you?” Is that pretty much the way it happened?
IVANA TRUMP: It was pretty much the way it happened. Actually, I did find out first time on the telephone, when I did pick the phone in the living room and Donald did take the phone in bedroom-
WALTERS: In Aspen?
IVANA TRUMP: -in Aspen and he spoke to the mutual friend of ours and he was talking about Marla. And I really didn’t understand. I never heard a name like that in my life. And I came to Donald. I said, “Who is Moola?” And he said, “Well, that’s a girl which is going after me for last two years.” And I said, “Is that serious?” And he said, “Oh, she’s just going after me.”
WALTERS: [voice-over] The next day, Ivana said, she was skiing on the slopes when she passed Donald with dark-haired girl. She was told that girl was a friend of “Moola” or Marla, whom Donald said had been chasing him. Later, she saw that girl again.
IVANA TRUMP: And I saw her in the line, in the food line, and....
WALTERS: You were at a restaurant-
IVANA TRUMP: In the restaurant. And I said, “I understand from my husband that you have a friend which is after my husband for last two years.” I says, “Will you give her the message that I love my husband very much.” And that was it and I walk outside. And I didn’t know this Marla was standing behind this girl in line but because I never met her, I had no idea. And Marla just charged right behind me and she said- well, you said and in front of my children - they were about five feet away - and all were just looking up like nothing would happen, so-
WALTERS: She said, “I’m Marla and I love your husband. Do you?”
IVANA TRUMP: Yes.
WALTERS: What did you say?
IVANA TRUMP: I said- I really said- I said, “Get lost. I love my husband very much.” It was very unladylike, but it was as much as I really could- that was as much as I - as harsh as maybe I could be.
WALTERS: And what did Donald say?
IVANA TRUMP: Not anything, nothing.
WALTERS: And that’s how you found out?
IVANA TRUMP: Yes.
Here's another "side" to the famous Vail incident, from a "bystander," right after the famous "confrontation" between Marla and Ivana:
They [Donald Trump and Ivana Trump] walked out of the restaurant together. She was talking and he was trying to shush her. Then they both stopped to put on their skis. She was a little behind him and she was being kind of playful, bumping into him. But then they stopped about 50 feet away from the sundeck. She was facing us and he had his back to us and it`s now clear that they’re fighting. She’s waving her hands and yelling at him. And now everybody decides, ‘This is interesting’ and we all go over to the railing. It goes on for 25 minutes. It went on forever! Every now and then she tried to make up and put her arms around him, but he pulled back, he wouldn’t respond. He finally skied off, and everyone started clapping and cheering. She smiled and waved to the crowd and skied away in his direction. But I saw them near the next lift, and they were still going at it.
Another witness - everyone is nameless in situations like this - says that Marla walked out of Bonnie’s - the top joint in town at the time - and Ivana confronted her, demanding, “You "witch," leave my husband alone.”
Trump, who was sitting within earshot putting on his skis, took off down the mountain. Ivana, of course, was an Olympic skier, so observers swear they saw her whip in front of Donald and then ski backwards down the slopes, wagging her finger in his face.
The story would not be complete, of course, without "The Donald's" side as well. Here is how he put it in Timothy O’Brien’s “Trump Nation: The Art of Being the Donald”:
We were actually standing near the restaurant, getting ready to put skis on. And I was standing there like an idiot and Marla and Ivana were there. And there wasn’t shouting, but you could obviously see there was some friction. And a man who was standing right next to me, who weighed about 350 pounds and wasn’t a very attractive guy, said to me ‘It could be worse, Donald. I’ve been in Aspen for twenty years and I’ve never had a date.’ And I’ll never forget the statement and it sort of lightened it up a little bit for me.
Marla's and Donald's December 1993 wedding was a lavish display in which the former Inside Edition correspondent wore a white silk long-sleeve Carolina Herrera wedding gown with pink roses as her bridal bouquet. Two months prior to their opulent nuptials, Maples gave birth to Donald’s second daughter, Tiffany.
The couple already had a child together at that point, Tiffany Ariana Trump. The wedding was one of the epic social occasions of that or any other season.
The marriage lasted for several years before the two separated in May 1997 and divorced in 1999.
Marla wrote a tell-all book in 2000 entitled "All That Glitters is Not Gold." It was all set to be published, and with a title like that, it was going to sell millions of copies for sure. The book was mysteriously pulled at the last minute. Hmmmmm.
Naturally, like virtually everyone that comes into contact with The Donald, Marla was set for life. She did not need to do a thing for the rest of her life but take care of herself and stay in shape. And that, my friends, she has done quite fabulously.
Marla has remained in the pop culture ethos every since. Most recently, she appeared on Dancing With The Stars in March/April 2016. How pop culture can you get?
|Dressed as Ariel and Prince Eric from Disney's The Little Mermaid, Marla and her partner did the waltz to "Part of Your World" from the animated classic. Maples' daughter, Tiffany Trump, was in the audience. While they scored well, Marla was eliminated after this dance.|
Marla says that Donald called her and wished her well. He seems to have good relations with his ex-wives, and they do have a daughter together. Alas, Marla was voted off the show on 11 April 2016 after a fine dance as Ariel from "The Little Mermaid."
|"Dancing With The Stars," with dance partner partner Tony Dovolani.|
It is fair to say that this is not the last we'll hear from Marla Maples. She remains a stunningly attractive woman, and she will always have that connection with "The Donald."
Her daughter is blossoming into a fine young woman as well.
|Marla and Tiffany.|
Marla Maples is an all-American girl. Betting against that is never a good idea.
If she ever had hard feelings about her divorce, those appear to have dissipated. She has been spotted from time to time with new boyfriends.
Marla has entertained the entertainment establishment. She guest-hosted ABC's "The View" on 11 March 2016, for instance, and you don't get much more establishment than that (Joy Behar was at the wedding). So, you're likely to be seeing more of the delightful Marla Maples.